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Sometimes the best things begin with a phone call.
That’s how the Somerville Housing Authority began its annual Toy Drive, and that phone call was made by Dennis Cataldo, owner of Cataldo Ambulance Service, four years ago.
“Mr. Cataldo just called and said he wanted to help,” said Gay Cataldo (no relation), executive director of the housing authority. “They were kind enough to donate an ambulance and had a big sign to help people know about it.”
The toy drive, which was held in early December at the Kmart in the Assembly Square Mall in Somerville, was even more crucial this year, said Cataldo of the housing authority, because of the substantial increase in home heating fuel oil and food.
“The list keeps getting larger,” she said, noting that many of the more than 100 families served by this drive often must decide between keeping their home warm and purchasing a toy for their children. “ They wouldn’t have such a good Christmas without the outpouring of support from the community. That support makes you feel wonderful.”
The ambulance stationed at the Kmart entrance once again was staffed by Cataldo employees such as Medical Technician Jack Paster. During the two days of the drive, he and other staff helped receive the new and unwrapped toys from area residents and filled the ambulance several times. The toys were to be distributed to children up to 6 years of age.Employees of Cataldo Ambulance and Kmart also donated toys for the children. For the ambulance company, it’s just one way of giving something back to the community.“Cataldo Ambulance has come through in spades,” noted Gay Cataldo. “It’s been absolutely wonderful.”
On November 17th, Cataldo Ambulance Service honored 12 employees who unselfishly gave time away from their families to provide medical help to victims in areas devastated by Hurricane Rita. Cataldo Ambulance Service committed to sending two teams of 3 people per team to Texas to give EMS aid to those who were affected by the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Rita.
The first team had less than 2 hours to prepare and mobilize two ambulances and six employees to start their travel to Texas. The first team arrived on the night of Hurricane Rita’s arrival.
The second team was deployed 2 weeks after the initial team arrived. This gave an opportunity for the first team to fly home and resume their regular duties and lives while still continuing our EMS commitment to the residents of Texas. Both Teams were instrumental in working with the Texas EMS system in keeping their 911 system running. Additional attention was also given to assisting with keeping the clinics/hospitals open and operational. Words alone can not describe our pride in our employees and the gratitude we have for their time and dedication to EMS.
March 24, 2005 – Cataldo Ambulance Service, one of the largest private ambulance services in the Commonwealth, is providing a complimentary day-long CPR and First Aid training session to “24” Everett school teachers and administrations on Friday, March 25, 2005. This will include extensive training on the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).
Winter Hill Bank purchased and donated 2 Automatic External Defibrillators for the Everett School Department where they will be placed strategically within the school system. The importance of an immediate response to a sudden cardiac arrest is crucial to increasing the chances of a patient surviving.
In addition to performing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), the use of the AED is becoming widespread throughout the country. Businesses, restaurants, schools, malls and airports throughout the country are purchasing and placing AED’s in public areas so that in the event of a cardiac arrest, the layperson can deliver a shock to the patient. It is this shock delivered by the AED that in addition to CPR will have the potential of restoring a patient’s heartbeat.
AED’s are very simple to use and the internal voice will talk the person through its use. When a person is in cardiac arrest, minutes count and after 6 minutes of the absence of a heartbeat, brain damage will start to occur. The early intervention of the AED’s will provide immediate treatment until local paramedics arrive on scene to provide more in-depth care.
For those interested in more information about CPR/FIRST AID and AED training, please contact Cataldo Ambulance Service at 617-625-0126.